Bud Light Executive Behind Controversial Campaign Takes Leave

Bud Light, Anheuser-Busch’s entry into the light beer market, appears to be on life support. Following Bud Light Marketing Vice President Alissa Heinerscheid’s decision to put transgender TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s image on Bud Light cans resulted in a national boycott of beer drinkers against Bud Light.

Heinerschneid claimed she wanted to update Bud Light’s image from its “fratty” and out-of-touch humor in their advertising. Bud Light sales have declined rapidly in recent years, and Heinerschneid felt it was time to shake things up. 

On the Sunday between the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Championship games, Dylan Mulvaney, 26, put a sponsored Instagram post promoting Bud Light’s March Madness Contest and revealed the controversial Bud Light can with her image. 

Within two days after the Instagram post, videos surfaced across social media platforms showing Bud Light customers dumping beers in the trash, pouring the beer down sinks, and shooting cans with automatic weapons.

Twitter users responded by wondering why Bud Light was trying to appeal to the 1 percent trans market and insulting the market’s fifty-four percent of men and 45 percent of women. Another hinted that Bud Light might soon join a list of forgotten beers. 

The selection of TikTok transgender Dylan Mulvaney was supposed to introduce the brand to Mulvaney’s 10 million followers. Eighty percent of TikTok users are between 16 and 34, and 60 percent are between 16 and 24.

In 2019 Anheuser-Bush developed a “diversity and inclusion pillar” to attract diverse talent and provide “unconscious bias training.”

The Mulvaney cans were not commercially produced and only went to the influencer. The company previously released a rainbow-themed can with the words “celebrate everyone’s identity” and featuring commonly used pronouns. 

Anheuser-Busch stated that they work with hundreds of social media influencers to attract various demographics to the brand. The commemorative can was produced as a gift for Mulvaney to celebrate her one year of being openly trans and was not commercially sold.